Stitchers Gets Second Season and New Series Regular: Damon Dayoub

Damon Dayoub and Emma Ishta
Those who are waiting anxiously for the penultimate episode of Stitchers to air on ABC Family will be happy to hear the news that Damon Dayoub has been made a series regular and that the Disney owned network have given the greenlight for a second season of the show. Damon has played Detective Fisher and ever since the show’s “big bad” lured Fisher away for a “special” task, the writing has been on the wall.

In a July 28, 2015 press release it was simultaneously announced that Damon would be a regular feature in the “procedural” drama and that the show would be back in 2016. Exciting stuff for both fans of the show and of Dayoub. The actor has been a recurring presence in the first season of Stitchers from his appearance in the pilot episode, A Stitch in Time where Kirsten, the show’s protagonist, tells Detective Fisher (Dayoub) that she will prove him wrong about how her step-father/guardian died.

Damon Dayoub has been working steadily in the business since 2009, and rather interestingly showed up on The Last Ship in an episode as a Navy SEAL on the same week he appeared in Stitchers as a law enforcement official. Previous to his appearances in the ABC Family series, Damon worked on numerous projects including NCIS as a recurring character.

Dayoub has provided some good onscreen moments with both Emma Ishta and Salli Richardson-Whitfield in terms of personal chemistry. As Detective Fisher, the actor walks the line perfectly as a by-the-book cop who is drafted into a job very much outside the box and far from what he is used to.

Stitchers is essentially a science fiction drama. The series is about a young woman with a temporal disorder who is “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased in order to harvest their memories. (Hence the tagline, “Memories Never Die.”) Emma Ishta stars as Kirsten Clark; temporal girl, Allison Scagliotti is Camille her roommate and colleague, Kyle Harris is Cameron the project wunderkind, Ritesh Rajan is Linus; wunderkind number two (I heart Linus – watch the show to learn the significance of that little phrase.) and Maggie, department head and the boss with “ulterior motives” is played by Salli Richardson-Whitfield. Another recurring character is “big boss” Les Turner who is portrayed by none other than Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Extinction, The Mummy).

The series is executive produced by Jeffery Allan “Jeff” Schechter; who is the Stitchers creator. The other executive producers are Jonathan Baruch and Rob Walken. If Jeff’s name sounds familiar he was co-creator on the 2009 “tween” comedy Overruled; that ran till 2011.

The casting on this show has been spot on. The chemistry between all the main characters is perfect, each one have brilliant give and take moments and delightfully natural delivery. Their performances are all impressive and feel almost spontaneous. While this is partly due to the actors themselves, the rest is down to the writers who make this topical and pop culturally “quippy” series crackle.

Even the secondary characters, who are moved to centerstage at appropriate times, have an excellent rapport with the main players and each other. Cameron Britton, as Tim from Engineering, “Tim has never liked me,” says Cameron in one episode, has moved up in the cast ranks and he was the “office savior” in Fire in the Hole.

Stitchers is a cracking series that deserved to have a second season. Great writing, gripping storylines, pop culture references that delight, a cast to die for and some very, very funny moments. All this and set pieces that raise a lump in the throat if not an actual tear…or several. Stitchers airs Tuesdays on ABC Family. Stop on by and see what you have been missing or tune back in to see just why the show has been approved for a second season.

Kudos to all the folks who make Stitchers such great viewing and for getting that second season. Plus, congratulations to Daman Dayoub for his promotion to series regular…Now if they can just get Oded Fehr to become a regular…

The Last Ship: Alone and Unafraid (recap and review)

The Last Ship still photo
In the previous episode of The Last Ship two of the three teams had infiltrated the “Chosen” camp and met the “new” president and XO Slattery ordered the comms buoy blown up, in Alone and Unafraid Chandler has gotten himself close to the president. Green and Tex are on a convoy with Niels who is up to something and Wolf-Man is trying to keep track of it all for Slattery.

Like other excursions in this season, the action in Alone and Unafraid is pretty impressive. While it took at least one other episode to build up to this segment’s “big fight” (and at least half of this episode) the payoff was some excellent edge of the seat viewing. After Chandler, who orchestrated the whole thing with Burk and Ravit’s help, gets to guard the new president, they then set up a rescue for the country’s new commander-in-chief.

After setting up a possible threat, Ramsey’s team, and Chandler (who tells the mercenary that his name is Tommy) take the former Secretary Michener through the convention hall kitchens. As they enter Burk and Ravit strike and together with Chandler they fight a pretty spirited battle with the mercenaries. The conflict is savage and drawn out. Burk takes out one baddie with a broken mop handle through the chest and Ravit takes out another one with a couple of forks.

Chandler takes out his group with armed flair and then goes head to head with the last one standing. After winning, he then delivers the coup de grace to the wounded mercenaries who reach for their weapons. The “president” reluctantly allows himself to be escorted from the building. Outside the convention center, Wolf-Man snipes guards who get in the way and clears a path for Chandler, Burk, Ravit and Michener.

Tex, who Niels sort of recognizes (as Patient Zero queries Tex about where he may have met him, the man tells Niels to leave him alone as, “You’re kind of creeping me out, man.” In that instant, Tex and Ned are ethereal twins who share their discomfort at being around Niels.

Both men are right to be disturbed about Niels. The thing that Danny saw the man working on was a virus delivery system to be put in children’s cuddly toys. After the two men grab Niels and his deadly teddy bears and rejoin Chandler’s team and Wolf-Man, Green destroys the viral toys with fire.

Niels has been shot, during the fracas against the work detail meant to deliver the viral payload, Ned was shot in the face as well. Later, the bloodied brother of Sean will demand that his “bruv” take care of that ship.

Back on the Nathan James, XO Slattery and the crew are playing a tense game of cat and mouse where the destroyer has to find a quiet spot to release the “helo” aka, helicopter. It will need to collect Chandler and his team along with the president. The sub’s crew, between bickering and stopping just shy of fisticuffs, are trying to track the Nathan James to blow her out of the water.

Once the three teams regroup at the pick up point, a truckload of mercenaries arrives and they have to fight their way to the chopper. The Navy cuts the soldier’s for hire down pretty easily and once they board, Tex asks who the passenger is. Chandler says that Michener is the Commander and Chief and Tex’s look of disbelief says it all.

Back on the Nathan James, it is apparent that Michener is more of a “believer” (part of Ramsey’s “Chosen” schtick) and less of a presidential reality. He is escorted very much against his will deeper into the ship and Slattery also questions the man’s motives.

Back at the convention center, Ned heckles Sean and once again demands that he do something about the ship. He also makes it clear that they should just “nuke” the US, a country full of “ungrateful buggers.” *The writers are still having a hey day getting all that Brit dialogue spot on.*

Sean looks pretty irate which is not surprising since his “ace in the hole” has been snatched out right out from under this proverbial nose. Ned has always been for blowing up the Nathan James, killing the crew and turning America into a nuclear wasteland. It remains to be seen just how much Sean will take on from baby brother Ned’s suggestions.

Once again, The Last Ship gave viewers a great action filled (continuing) storyline. Producer, and star, Eric Dane keeps giving the same sturdy performance and it is plain that he was born to play this type of role. Adam Baldwin shows that he can still pack a punch into whatever performance he gives no matter how small the screen time and Ebon Moss-Bachrach should get some sort of gong, an Emmy or something, for his portrayal of Niels.

Kudos again for the writers of the show and for the two actors playing those bickering Brit’s the Ramsey brothers; Brían F. O’Byrne (Sean) and Nick Court (Ned) these two chaps are value for money and without their spot on portrayal, the mercenaries would take on a comic book air of villainy versus the real deal the actor’s help bring.

Now that Michener is on board the Nathan James and Niels has been caught (and his disgusting toys destroyed) perhaps the destroyer can sink that sub, although not too soon, yeah? Those Ramsey’s and their crew make a pretty good group of villains, bruv. The Last Ship airs Sundays on TNT don’t miss it or you’ll be a muppet…Yeah?

Ray Donovan: Come Knock On Our Door (recap and review)

Mickey talking to the girls in Ray Donovan
Last week on Ray Donovan brother Terry fought the Aryan Brotherhood and won…twice, putting his life in jeopardy and in Come Knock On Our Door, it transpires that the man the “ding” beat with the barbell has died. Family comes first with Ray and his efforts to save his brother leads to a short painful downhill trip that ends with a deal with the devil.

At the start of the episode, Ray comes home to see his daughter. They have a short talk in her bedroom and Ray sees his dead sister Bridget in the room. Going downstairs, he watches an old episode of Three’s Company, or possibly The Ropers, and sees his dead sibling again. Later, Ray watches more old television, this time an old Bonanza episode and Little Joe is shooting out of a window while Lena packs her things to leave. She tells Ray that the spare key is in her desk and that the coffee machine is “bust.” “I got you a new one,” she says before walking out.

Mickey has a meeting with the hookers with donuts and cocaine. The girls want to leave but Ginger talks them into hearing him out. Mickey introduces his son “Daryl” and explains that he will be the muscle and their driver. He wants them to try his way out for just one day and Ginger is supportive.

Bunchy asks for $20,000 out of his fund to put on the Mexican wrestling match at the gym. Ray gets a call from the guard and he learns that Terry killed an Aryan. He tells his brother’s protector that he will be right there. Bunchy tells Ray before he leaves that the gym could make money for once and Donovan tells his brother “it’s a front, Bunch, it’s not supposed to make money.”

On the way out, Ray is approached by two of Finney’s lawyers, one; the family lawyer, makes a veiled threat when Donovan refuses, again, to sell his business to the man. Daryl is updating the website, and worried about the Armenians taking his Cadillac. Ginger drops Audrey off with Mickey again, seconds after the girl arrives, Mickey gets a call from the prison.

Abby learns that Ray dropped by the previous night and Bridget tells her mother that he had been in a fight. Abby is also learning that she has lost touch with her family. All she has left after trying to connect with her kids in the kitchen is Dog. “Who’s the best boy in the world,” she asks the animal, “You are.”

Mickey arrives at the prison and is refused entry. Ray turns up and after learning that his father planned to bribe the guards with cocaine, the two argue. Ray tells Mickey to stay out of it and goes inside the prison. As Mickey leaves he calls Abby and asks her to meet him at the gym. Ray learns that Terry will be in danger no matter where he goes.

Ray visits Terry in isolation and they talk. Terry looks at Ray’s beaten visage and asks, “What the f**k happened to your face?” “What the f**k happened to yours,” Ray shoots back and the brothers laugh. Terry has given up and asks his brother not to help him.

Mickey gets Abby to look after Audrey and Ray goes to see Judge Wettick. He explains about what happened to Terry, how the Aryans went after him because of his Parkinson’s and he wants the judge to give Terry a compassionate release. The Judge refuses and when Ray offers him $100,000 to reconsider, Wettick pulls a gun from his desk and orders Ray to leave.

Ray heads back to his office to drop off the money and tells Abby about Terry. She offers to help and he blows her off. The next visit Ray will make is to see Frank Barnes and blackmail him onto Wettick with false charges to force his hand.

Daryl is overwhelmed with the demands of the hookers and Bunchy drops by to see Mickey. His brother talks him into helping out. The first task is to take topless pictures of Michele. Ginger drops in to ask for some breast milk and says that she needs it in a hurry. Mickey goes to see Ronald Keith to get the judge’s address so he can help Terry.

Bunch goes to get some milk and adult diapers. Ginger tells him that it has to be real breast milk. Bunchy has an epiphany when he sees a mother with twins.

Terry gets treated for the knife wound and when the doctor leaves the cell an Aryan kills the doctor. Guards grab the attacker and everything falls apart. Ray is called and Terry’s “protection” has been taken off his detail. His brother will be put back in the general population and Ray heads back to see Wettick.

Mickey goes to see the judge and inadvertently kills the man when he knocks his heart pills out of the judges hand. Ray arrives to find Mickey looking at Wettick’s body. Ray is furious, “You just killed another one of your kids Mick.” As Ray leaves he gives Barnes the blackmail evidence and Frank asks Ray if they are even, Ray does not respond.

Donovan goes to see Finney. He is offered coffee; Finney is keeping it friendly, and then he explains his dilemma. After Malcolm agrees to help, the two men go to see the governor Tom Vernon. The governor offers to help and says it will take a few weeks. “You need to pardon him tonight,” Finney says. The governor hesitates and Finney finishes with “This is taking far longer than I thought it would.” “I’ll get it done tonight,” Vernon says.

Back at the mansion, Finney says it was a pleasure to see Ray and the contract is put in front of him to sign. Ray is told to show up for work tomorrow and to see himself out. Before he leaves, Paige sees him and says, “I thought you were though with the Finney family Ray?”

Abby leaves, for a couple of days she says. Mickey learns that his idea for the girls worked well and the icing on the cake is Ray calling to say, “I got him out.” Mickey plans a party. Ray goes to pick Terry up. The two brother’s meet in the prison parking lot and Terry asks how much it cost Ray to get him out.

This week’s episode was pretty heavy going but once again Bunchy and Audrey provided some much needed comic relief. The breast milk scene was brilliant, Audrey and Abby watching as the mother pumps milk from her breast. Bunchy awkwardly taking Michele’s picture,”you cannot show my face,” she says. Audrey telling Mickey off for leaving her in the car, “It’s against the law to leave a kid in the back of a car, you know,” she says when he gets back in the vehicle. A few light-hearted moments to take away the sting of Ray’s deal.

It was almost a done deal that Donovan was going to end up selling himself to Finney after last week’s cold refusal. That Ray was worried about Terry was signposted with his continued sightings of Bridget and his overall preoccupation. It was apparent from the first frame that Ian McShane’s Finney appeared in that this man was the devil and that Ray would end up selling himself to him.

Once again Liev Schreiber knocked it out of the park. Dash Mihok keeps getting better each week. Jon Voight as Mickey provides Schreiber with some heavy duty support and the Oscar winning actor shows that a lifetime of experience makes everything shine.

Ray Donovan airs Sundays on Showtime and despite last night’s heavy going episode, is quality television with some of the best ensemble acting around.

Falling Skies: Non Essential Personnel (recap and review)

John Pope Falling Skies still
Last week Falling Skies had John Pope completely losing the plot (going a little bit crazier than usual) and taking Hal Mason hostage in order to punish Tom. In Non Essential Personnel Mason senior is told that if he dies the war is lost and a giant hornet removes him from a firefight with Pope.

The episode begins with a group of people trapped in a house by skitters. Some of them decide to escape and once outside they are cornered by two skitters. A police SUV roars up and Pope, along with Anthony, gets out and shoots the creatures down. Afterward, Anthony rescues the group still in the house. When they get back to Pope, the new leader learns that his “right hand man” has designated four of the group as “non essential personnel” and they are told to leave. One of the survivors, Isabella (Catalina Sandino Moreno) says she is a nurse and can be of use to Pope and his crew. John agrees to let her stay but the other three must leave. She tries to bargain for them to remain but loses.

Meanwhile, Tom Mason is following clues that Pope relays via radio transmitter. Captain Weaver and the rest of the 2nd Mass are ambushed by what appears to be one gunman who definitely has the drop on the convoy. He demands a truck and half their ammunition or he will start blowing up vehicles.

Weaver goes into talk and once inside he gets shot. Anne comes up to make sure he is alright and Weaver tells her to play along with the lone gunman as he has a wife and two kids he is trying to protect. Something that the captain and Anne can identify with.

Isabella, after convincing Pope that he can use her, gets her first tasking. She must patch up Hal after his father’s antagonist cuts him so Tom can hear him scream. Tom Mason tells Pope, “I will kill you.” Later, when he gets into Pope’s camp he tries to do just that.

Back at the ambush, Weaver tries to get into the gunman’s head, but this man is off with the fairies and not to be reasoned with. Anne, reluctantly, orders half the ammo to be placed by the door. She tells the rest of the troops that they will double back later and get Weaver.

Isabella patches young Mason up and he tells her that it will not take Pope long to realize that she is not really a nurse. He also tells Isabella that he knows why she fought to keep her friends with Pope’s crew, “you care, he says and tells her that it will not take long for his captor to figure that out as well.

A giant hornet attacks the camp and one of the new recruits is injured. Isabella begins to treat the man when Pope asks if he can still fight. “I don’t know” she starts to reply and before she can finish her sentence Pope shoots the man dead.

Mason continues his frustratingly slow journey to get Hal back and has another vision from the Dorniya. Appearing as Rebecca once more, the creature tells Tom that if he dies the war and Earth will be lost. Mason refuses to stop going after Hal as he will not let his son die for the “greater good.” “I love you,” says the Dorniya Rebecca, “you’re not her,” replies Tom as he leaves to rescue his son.

Weaver tries to overpower the ambusher and loses. Later, while the gunman is in another room talking to his family, the captain gets his hands lose. He asks for water and when the man gives him a drink Weaver grabs the pistol off the other man’s belt. Both men stand facing each other with weapons at the ready when Anne comes in.

After a short tense stand off, Weaver talks the man down and tells him they can help. He reveals that he and Anne lost kids, as he surmised the gunman has, and he explains that they are there for him as they, the 2nd Mass, were for Weaver when he was found. His speech calms the distraught father and he shows Weaver what was in the other room. His family are all dead and in body bags.

Hal gave a very similar spiel to Isabella, about “being there” and this was why she decided to release Tom’s son rather than just escape.

Back at the camp, Tom shoots Pope in the face as Hal and Isabella start to drive away. As Tom waits for another shot at John, the giant hornet that attacked the camp earlier comes back and grabs Mason; lifting him up and flying away. Hal and Isabella get away and later a wounded Pope, the shot grazed his cheek, questions Anthony about where Hal is.

This week saw Will Patton shine as Weaver. His character got a little comic relief in, his argument about the car at the start, and later his passionate speech to the grief stricken gunman who ambushed the convoy. Patton got to show those huge chops that make him such a great character actor.

Newcomer Catalina Sandino Moreno, as Isabella was spot on. If Catalina looks familiar it may be because of her performance in The Bridge as Alma Ruiz. She looks to be a part of the show for at least a little while longer as she travels with Hal.

Big kudos, however, have to go to actor Colin Cunningham for channelling his inner “crazy Pope.” His rage and the cruelty it has spawned is truly disturbing. The end result is a villain that one cannot wait to see get his comeuppance. There cannot be many who were disappointed to see Tom Mason’s shot turn out to be non-fatal. With Pope’s decent into madness, whatever sympathy the viewers had for him about Sara’s death diminishes almost completely.

Tom Mason’s being abducted by the “hornet on steroids” (coined by Anthony) could mean that humanity is now lost or that the Dorniya have stepped in to guarantee his survival. The “extinct” messengers, via Rebecca, made it fairly clear that they want Mason to succeed as the savior of Earth and it may have been that the visions have now been abandoned for more direct coercion.

*Sidenote* Are Maggie and Ben now going to share something more than pins? Certainly looks that way.

Falling Skies continues to provide cracking entertainment and its final season has not disappointed thus far. The series airs Sundays on TNT.

Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! SyFy Cheese with Extra Anchovies

Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard
The SyFy channel has a certain reputation. Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! manages to keep the tradition of cheap and nasty made for TV films alive and well. This third installment of cheese with an extra serving of anchovies proves that no film budget is too low or CG FX too shabby to keep the partnership of The Asylum and SyFy down. The Sharknado franchise is perhaps the first set of films, made for TV or otherwise, to be perpetuated by social media; Twitter made the first film, just plain old Sharknado, an instant hit.

Over the Internet the film, that starred Ian Ziering, Tara Reid and Cassie Scerbo , took on an epic life of its own after celebs began sharing their thoughts on the “faux” horror film that aired on SyFy back in July 2013. The whole thing caught fire with the world’s media and the movie became an honest to goodness phenomena.

Enough so that it spawned (sorry) two more trips to the world of shark-filled tornadoes. The second film took place in New York and the last, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! along the entire east coast of America. In terms of entertainment value, the films may be that bit more enjoyable if one views it intoxicated, or high, or if the viewer concentrates on trying to name all the celebs who have queued up to play cameos in the franchise.

The computer generated FX are laughably bad and the props are abysmal. Floppy bayonets aside, however, Sharknado 3 is funny. There are some perfectly good gags, Bo Derek’s line about the cell phone app is a side splitter. As May Wexler she asks daughter April (Tara Reid) just why, since phones have apps for everything, she doesn’t have one to find her granddaughter who has gone missing at Universal Studios Orlando theme park.

Produced by The Asylum folks, who also brought Z Nation to SyFy, there are a few things that annoy about the film, product placement may not be over zealous but it is there. Xfinity shows up several times (at least once on the side of a NASCAR racer) and Universal Studios Orlando in Florida must be down on visitor numbers to have resorted to this “in your face” advertisement.

Of course the placement of two products is not overly upsetting, realizing that Bo Derek has gotten old is far more disturbing. Granted, Bo looks fantastic for 58, but for those fans of a certain age, 10 never seemed so far away.

Directed by Anthony C. Ferrante the film is not meant to be taken seriously. None of the three were made with that goal in mind. Ferrante was also responsible for Boo a 2005 horror film with better intentions than actual performance, but pretty good viewing nonetheless.

Despite the stars playing their various roles almost painfully straight, the production company (The Asylum) is not above making their own little jokes and giving the audience a little treat. Case in point, Kelitta Smith, who played Sgt. Roberta Warren in Z Nation, has a cameo in Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! playing Sgt. Roberta Warren. She holds up the hero and his group, Shepard (Ziering), Nova (Scerbo) and Stevens (former Malcolm in the Middle star Frankie Muniz who is dismembered later by multiple shark bites) at the gate of Charleston Air Force Base.

She doubts Shepard’s claim to know General Gottlieb (Tim Russ) and talks about the sharknado attacks. Stevens tells Warren that it could be worse, it could be zombies. For fans of Z Nation it is a priceless moment and quite possibly the last chance to see Smith as Warren considering how that series ended.

Of course none of the films are meant to be more than a passing nod and wink to those horrifically schlocky horror films of the 1950s and 60s. (Pun intended) A huge amount of ‘Z’ list celebs appear in various cameos, some literally lasting seconds, so the novelty of the films has clearly not worn off.

The plot is simple, each attack or wave of sharknadoes is worse than the last, in this film the sharks actually wind up in space. April asks how can the creatures can survive in space and Fin responds with his own question, “How can they survive in a tornado?” Suspension of disbelief is not required by the audience, the cast have done it for us and they do so quite ably.

Sharknado is not finished either. The latest plug for the franchise has fans voting on whether or not April Shepard lives or dies. With a new tagline of “We’re not finished yet,” it seems that The Asylum, Anthony C. Ferrante and the remaining cast members are not ready to leave the Sharknado verse just yet. If nothing else, Twitter will continue to appreciate the efforts of all concerned as there are still a number of bemused, and amused, tweets that address the made for TV films every time they air.

For sheer novelty value, Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! is worth a look by the curious. Viewing of the prior two installments of the franchise is not a requirement and could be hazardous to one’s health; servings of triple cheese with extra anchovies may incur issues of a noxious nature. 3 out of 5 stars for TV-Movie fun and major silliness.

Hannibal: The Great Red Dragon (review)

Richard Armitage as Tooth Fairy in Hannibal
Last week saw the finish of the overly extended preamble to bring the series up to Thomas Harris’ Red Dragon and this week in Hannibal, episode 8; The Great Red Dragon, three years have passed. Lector has been declared insane and is incarcerated. As with most episodes of Hannibal, the pre-credit sequence is slow but it builds upon the killer and his identity. Like the rest of the series, each segment is slow and discordant as well as dark and concise amid the shambolic imagery of the music and the set pieces. Similar to a somnambulist on quaaludes or molasses dripping down a table leg on a cool day.

The episode begins with an introduction to the new villain; Francis Dolarhyde (played by Brit actor Richard Armitage [The Hobbit, Captain America: The First Avenger]) who is savagely silent as he transformed into the Red Dragon, although he does growl and roar at one point, his appearance is introspective and visceral.

Hannibal and Dr. Bloom talk about wine and truffles, the two items that lead Alana to Lector’s door in Florence when Verger was acting on his personal vendetta. They take a short walk down memory lane during their conversation, “Do you still prefer beer to wine,” Hannibal asks. “I stopped drinking beer when I found out what you were putting in mine,” Alana responds. “Who,” says Hannibal and Bloom echoes, “Who.”

In between the Bloom and Chilton interludes, Dolarhyde continues to transform; to become. Mirrors and animalistic sounds accompany his change. At the end of the process Francis is outside, naked except for the liberal splashes of blood on his body.

After the Red Dragon transformation, Hannibal shares a delicacy with Dr. Chilton (played with delightful hubris by Raúl Esparza) and their conversation also turns to past events. Speaking of the desert, which traditionally requires the blood of a pig, Hannibal says he substituted cow’s blood. Frederick asks about “before” when Lector served him the dish and Hannibal replies “The blood was from a cow only in the derogatory sense.”

Each conversation is a sparring match of sorts. Bloom and Chilton both lose their respective wordplay with Lector. Alana is left with the impending threat (promise) that Hannibal will kill her, “I always keep my promises,” he says; just as he did last week when he promised to save Graham. In his discussion with Chilton about the “Tooth Fairy” the first this Hannibal says is that the serial killer does not like to be called that. In one sentence, he deflates Frederick’s ego, it was Chilton who coined the title, and Lector assumes superiority as a result.

Later in the episode, we see that Hannibal is right about the killer not liking the moniker. While adding his latest kill to his scrapbook, Dolarhyde grabs a black marker and covers up the part of the headline that refers to him as the Tooth Fairy.

Chilton and Bloom verbally spar and she informs her colleague that Dr. Lector will get the better of him. Chilton gloatingly paints an imaginary picture of Hannibal watching “diaper carts” go by in captivity. Alana responds with the news that Lector will gloat about his victory over Chiton, indicating that he will have plenty of time, as he watches the diaper carts go by. Frederick tells Alana that Hannibal is showing some competitive vanity with the appearance of the Tooth Fairy.

FBI agent Jack Crawford goes to see Will Graham who lives in the country with Mollie and Walter along with a slew of dogs. Molly reveals to Jack Crawford that they are dumped by previous owners. She says that getting rid of the cute ones are easy and the rest stay on. Before the meal, Will tells Jack that he does not want to return. It is obvious that Graham knows he will end up seeing Hannibal if he gets involved with the Tooth Fairy.

As usual Hannibal is a visual feast. The imagery is powerful and in one instance, incredibly creepy. Dolarhyde listens to music, the singer sounds like Roy Orbison, while watching a home movie of the family he has just murdered. With a screeching noise (in his head) Dolarhyde reacts and as the film stock from the reels wrap around his face, he becomes the movie projector with light shooting out from his eyes and mouth.

A truly disturbing sight.

Other images are used as a construct. A short montage of newspaper clipping done by Hannibal and Dolarhyde, each using their own tools, in Lector’s case nothing sharp, and building their own collection of the “Tooth Fairy” murders. At the end of it, Lector uses his clipping to “bait” Will and Francis adds his to the large scrapbook he has obviously had for a very long time.

Molly talks Graham into becoming a part of the investigation and Will explains that if he goes, he will be different when he comes back. Molly reassures him by saying that she won’t. After their little talk, Will goes to look at the news clipping and letter that Hannibal has sent him. He reads the note, and in it Lector urges Graham to turn Crawford down if he comes “knocking.” Will throws the items in the burning fire, Hannibal has set the bait for Graham.

Will visits the latest crime scene and his skill at putting himself in the killer’s shoes and recreating what occurred has not diminished after his time spent with Lector. At one point, he realizes that the killer took off rubber gloves, he speculates about talcum powder found at the scene in a house that has none. This leads to forensics checking and finding that part of the Tooth Fairy’s killing ritual included flesh touching flesh, and they find a partial smudged thumbprint as a result. Unfortunately they also have the false lead of those false teeth, or plates, that Dolarhyde collected at the beginning of the episode.

By the end of the program Will is back at the bureau and interpreting the killer. Graham also recognizes that despite his overwhelming reluctance, he must consult with Hannibal.

Hannibal is darkly beautiful and spellbinding. The storylines are complex and tantalizing but it appears that fans of the show will be left wanting. Certainly the languid pace of the series is not popular with everyone and now that the show has reached an intersection with Harris’ book, perhaps NBC feels the show has reached a conclusion of sorts. Hannibal airs Saturdays on NBC for a little longer at least. Fans can only hope that the network does not move the show again.

Dark Matter: Episode Seven (review)

Sara in Dark Matter
Last week in Dark Matter, episode six had Five taking an extended walk down memory lane and revealing a lot more about her crew mates. Episode seven follows on from that peek at those stored remembrances, which, apart from showing just how Six got to the party, cleared up the matter of that forgotten passcode; Maplethorpe which was a former teacher of Six’s and according to him, in the memory, completely unforgettable.

Once in the vault the crew discover weapons, lots of money, an entertainment android and a woman in stasis. Thus far in Dark Matter, each episode serves to reveal a little bit more about each mercenary. Four, for example, was the son of the Ishida Emperor and was framed for his murder; part of episode six’s reveal. Another layer exposed in that episode was that Five was not in a good place when she stowed away on the ship; she was a pick pocket extraordinaire living rough with a lot of other mini-Fagin’s.

This week it is Three’s turn under the microscope. Like each episode so far, his is the main story but there are other facets of the crew that come to light, One and Two with their apparent history and hesitant steps toward a possible reunion are also looked at. The Android, as usual, plays comic relief and Zoie Palmer should get an Emmy gong for her childlike and very literal robot with a heart.

Android could well be a distant relative to the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz but her role is similar to Five’s. She has a definite purpose. What it may be is not too clear at the moment, but like everyone else’s history on board, it too will be discovered.

Five has the code echoing around in her head and she runs through the ship shouting that she knows the code. One comes into Two’s room to pass on a status report and the woman gets dressed while he awkwardly makes his report. He is most definitely interested in the leader and tells Two that they have a damaged relationship. When she laughingly repeats his allegation, he says he meant relay switch. At the end of their conversation, he gets his signals mixed and decides she is flirting with him.

Six interrupts their “discussion” to say that Five knows the code to “the mystery room.”

After the crew open the door the woman found in stasis is held in observation and Android discovers that the woman is dying of Tataryn disease. The Android explains that there is no cure. Three wants to put her back in stasis and Two says they need to question the woman. One and Six find the entertainment Android and One decides to put her together.

One is quite taken with the new robot and he gets Five to “turn her on…I mean activate her.” The new Android is named Wendy and she talks with an Aussie accent and turns out to know a lot about the culinary arts.

Android wakes the woman and we learn that her name is Sara and when she wakes up, Sara recognizes Three immediately. “Marcus, she says throwing her arms around the surprised mercenary. He and Two explain about the stasis pod problem and the wiped memories.

Sara tells about how she met “Marcus” and that she knows what he is, a criminal and a mercenary, Three apparently was wounded on her planet. Sara treated his wounds and he apparently fell in love with the woman. They learn that she is dying and he took her on board and put her into stasis to save her life.

While this episode went deep under Three’s crusty and obnoxious exterior, the subplot dealt with Wendy, who apart form having a killer body and personality, also had an ulterior motive of revenge programmed by Cyrus King. Her deadly mission was set because the mercenaries killed his men “before memory loss” and he now wants their ship flown into a star.

Dark Matter this week dealt with a few issues, one of which was Android jealousy, at one point Zoie Palmer’s Android affects several different accents, Irish, Australian, English, Scottish and, somewhat hysterically, Jamaican; “Don’t worry about it Mon” she tells One after trying out a few. After a short conversation with Five, who had her hair done by Wendy, Android decides to welcome the new member of the crew, only to be shot for her trouble.

By the end of the episode, Three turns out to have a mushy interior, even if he does not remember it and Two finally hooks up with One. The backstory of Marcus and Sara was touching and cute. The fact that Three had found someone who accepted him for who he was only to have it threatened by a incurable disease explains a lot about where his character is at now. Granted he cannot remember it, but some knowledge must exist somewhere in his mind. After all, it was Three who insisted that Sara be woken up and he also demanded that she be put back in stasis after learning that she was dying.

There were many comical moments in the episode. The hysterically funny “dunking the cosmic donut” reference, which fascinated Six, One and Three, the orgasmic dining scene and Four’s massage from Wendy all hit the right notes. One’s decision to try out the entertainment Android and his mixed signals with the leader of the group as well as The Android’s attempt to get praise for fixing the ship’s cooling systems all made this week’s episode a real chuckle fest.

The power of the writing of this series is not just the comedic moments however. The real magic is the writer’s aptitude at effortlessly mixing amusing events with tear inducing parts of the story. There can not be many who did not at least get a lump in their throat when Sara succumbs to the disease.

Each episode is reveals more about the crew and each character is becoming well rounded and three dimensional as a result. Zoie Palmer is becoming more endearing with each episode as are the rest of the crew. Anthony Lemke rocks it this week with his heel with heart story and the entire cast are hitting their stride performance wise. Kudos to guest star Ruby Rose and to the writers who came up with the fight sequences at the end; both with and without head.

Dark Matter is part of SyFy Fridays and is compelling viewing. Do not miss this show.

Killjoys: One Blood (recap and review)

Johnny, Dutch, D'Av in Killjoys
Last week in Killjoys, D’Av got healed, after first getting tortured by nanites, Khlyen (Rob Stewart) returned to take Dutch away and threaten Johnny. It was also revealed that Lucy does have a favorite, the guy that Khlyen threatened. In One Blood the killjoys continue to keep secrets, despite promises made to the contrary, although by the end of the episode, all has been revealed.

At the start of the episode, Dutch tries to learn why Khlyen has returned and what he wants from her. The two sit in a cafe drinking “Ashyrus tea, A little taste from home,” says Dutch’s former tutor, who then accuses her of being in a mood because of her response to an offer of honey. He tells Dutch he wants to know if she is still the Yala he trained and she replies that Yala died “that night.”

He then tells her that a deadly gas will be released into the cafe and she needs to retrieve an item from a smuggler before everyone expires. She warns the customers about the gas and holding her breath, Dutch finds the case and leaves the corpse-filled eatery.

Later, on the ship, Dutch and D’Av share a moment, chemistry only, but it is close, and John comes in to say there has been a Black Warrant issued. Johnny is excited and he tells D’Av, “You’re about to meet the family.”

All the killjoys meet in a bar and Dutch’s group meet up with Fancy Lee (Sean Baek) who went after D’Av in the fist episode of the season. Black Warrants are competitive affairs where all the killjoys compete for the same warrant and winner takes all. There is talk of a level six killjoy, urban legend, says Dutch and the warrant turns out to be for another kind of legend, Big Joe (Tony Nappo)
a top notch killjoy who mentored Dutch.

As the warrant details are being read out, Dutch leaves the room to deliver the case to Khlyen. He opens the case to remove a disc. He applies it to a reluctant Dutch and it turns out to be a neuro-link. The device also shows Dutch where Big Joe, and the ship he stole (the reason for the warrant), is located and she learns that Khlyen is linked to her.

Pawter attempts to set up some alone time with D’Av for more “treatment” and he turns her down. The doctor is not pleased. Dutch heads out sans her team to find Big Joe, the ship and its cargo. It is the latter item that Khlyen wants. Johnny and D’Av set out to get information on where the warrant is located and Fancy turns up suggesting an allegiance.

Meanwhile, Dutch is on Leith following the map to find Big Joe’s ship. As she gets her bearings, Khlyen shows up startling her, “We’re going to have to get you a bell,” Dutch mutters. Her old tutor asks about her killjoy mentor and jokingly asks if he should be jealous. D’Av and Johnny learn from Lucy that Dutch has turned off her comms.

They accept Fancy’s offer, although D’Av and John have some pretty harsh things to say about the other killjoy. D’Av wins the award for snappiest rejoinder when he tells Fancy Lee that he is “filling the ship with douchebag.” Back on Leith, Dutch is shot in the shoulder while arguing with Khlyen.

Fancy shows that he has a sense of humor, his “bloodhound” needs something that Dutch has touched in order to track and find her. “Underwear, bra…” he says. “Pervert” D’Av growls as he turns to grab a gun that Dutch has held. In another comic moment (on Leith) Fancy turns to John and says, “Your brother gets growly.”

On Leith Big Joe has shot Dutch to warn her off and slow her down but she ignores his warning and moves to intercept him. Fancy, D’Av and John are closing in on Dutch, they find her blood from when Big Joe shot her. Dutch catches up with her former mentor and they talk before hugging. They then begin sparring and Big Joe ends up on top of Dutch telling her to get out of the area “for her own good.”

The two then talk about his stealing the ship, and other ships, and they have a Ride the High Country type conversation. What do you think happens when we turn in our badges, Joe asks, a parade? Very similar to the Randolph Scott character in the Sam Peckinpah film.

As they talk, several armed people arrive and the leader tells Big Joe that he was supposed to be alone. Dutch grabs a woman and holds a machete to her throat, when the leader threatens to shoot Big Joe, she lets the woman go. The two are then taken prisoner.

While Big Joe and Dutch are tied together, Khlyen shows up and starts berating Dutch for having friends. She tells him to shut up and Joe responds that he did not say anything. The tutor is only in Dutch’s head because of the neuro-link. Big Joe reveals that he has no idea what the item, that Khlyen wants so badly, is. It was on the ship when he stole it.

Dutch learns that the people who hired Big Joe to steal the ships, and their cargoes, are the Kotlers, racial radicals from Leith. The group begin to question the two, while Khlyen swears that if they harm his Yala he will take their hands. They take Joe into another room for more vigorous questioning.

Pawter Simms drugs a company official to get access to his data base in an effort to locate Dr. Jaeger. The trio of male killjoys are closing in on Dutch and Big Joe. Kotler Senior explains why they steal the ships and that they are not “racist.” It is all about Qreshi families taking Leith land.

Fancy talks to Johnny about D’Av going “after” Dutch. When John asks Lee why he is such a “d*ck” Fancy replies he has to be, as he is the designated company “A**hole.” The two men take out two guards and D’Av is moving in to save Dutch. The device that Big Joe stole, and that Khlyen wants, is grabbed by one of the Kotler men and it draws blood.

He fires the weapon and it kills him and all the other Kotlers. No one else is harmed. The weapon uses DNA or blood to target victims. Khlyen misses the demonstration as during her interrogation, Dutch had her neuro-link removed by Kotler. The only Leith racial member left is Kotler Senior, Lucas, who married into the family.

Dutch tells John to call Turin and tell him that they are “coming in hot.” She plans to trade the weapon for mercy. The hungover company official joins the killjoy convention and demands to know what is going on. Big Joe is treated to a drink by Pree and the killjoy legend sits with Dutch. As Turin and the official talk about Big Joe his warrant is upgraded to a level five…death.

Big Joe tries to have Dutch do it but she cannot. While she refuses, Fancy shoots Big Joe in the head. “The warrant is all,” says Lee. Holstering his weapon, he finishes by saying, “Joe would’ve wanted it that way.” He goes back to sit at his table away from the group.

Khlyen corners Dutch and wants the device. Dutch tells him she does not know where it is and he grabs her by the throat pushing her up against the wall. She stabs him in the stomach and he lets her go. He apologizes for grabbing her and tells her that he would never hurt his “Yala.” He leaves after telling her that he came to the Quad for her. As Khlyen walks off he tells Dutch that he will not leave without her.

Pawter is sitting in her office when the company official comes back, “Hello Hilary,” Simms says and Hilary is not amused. He has her arrested for information theft and drugging a company official. When Pawter threatens Qresh retaliation, Hilary responds that he has checked, “no one on Qresh ‘gives a sh*t’ about what happens to you here,” he says. He also asks about Dr. Jaeger. Pawter says nothing and gets taken away.

Dutch comes back to the ship and just as Johnny decides to be the company a**hole, she confesses that Khlyen is back, and explains to D’Av who he is, and that she needs to find out what is going on. She asks John to track him down and says that she is going after Khlyen and kill him.

More layers have been peeled away this week in Killjoys and not only do we learn more about Dutch, aka Yala, but also about Pawter Simms, aka “Illenore Pawter Simms” as Hilary sneers before arresting her. For those of us who were confused about who Khlyen is, at one point is seemed that he could be Dutch’s father, and what his function was in Dutch’s past, more has been revealed. Like the old joke, the two have a love/hate relationship, she hates him and he, apparently, loves her. Simms has been pulling one heck of a bluff and it seems her interest in D’Av is not professional at all, except for her searching for Jaeger.

Questions remain. Who is Jaeger? Who put the stim blockers in D’Av’s brain and what is that weapon? Great entertaining telly that keeps the surprises coming. Disguised as an action/science fiction series, the show is starting to get that thriller aspect with a touch of anarchy and mystery. Kudos to Sean Baek as Fancy Lee and Tony Nappo as Big Joe. Killjoys is part of SyFy Fridays.

Defiance: My Name Is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You (recap/review)

Datak Tarr in Rahm Tak's camp Defiance
Last week’s episode of Defiance saw Datak Tarr on the shaming wall being stretched to death by his fellow Votan’s placing weights on the device. The Beauty of Our Weapons also saw Berlin scarper, Irisa underwent a meltdown at the target range and afterward Nolan boosted the militia with a motivational speech. In My Name is Datak Tarr and I Have Come to Kill You, the town of Defiance has been breached and suffered its first fatalities, Nolan screws up, Bebe gets his just deserts, Omec makes a stand, Irisa gets her mojo back and Rahm Tak’s curiosity proves fatal.

At the start of this episode, Datak Tarr is on the shaming wall and remembering an moment from his childhood, a young Tarr faces a mirror holding his father’s blade and repeats the phrase “My name is Datak Tarr and I have come to kill you.” Tarr senior comes in and takes the blade back and tells his son off.

Bebe, with his human face, is in Defiance with the rest of the infiltration team and they spot Tarr on the rack/wall. After a moment of contemplation, they move to take hostages along with the Mayor and Nolan. They line up the hostages so that Rahm Tak can tell them his “demands.” He does so via an interactive hologram. He offers to let the humans go if they let down the stasis nets. Rosewater refuses and he orders the hostages killed.

Nolan gets free and kills one of Tak’s troops with a knife to the throat, they are all wearing body armor, and Bebe kills another ensuring that he will get close to the Butcher of Yosemite. “Nice shooting Tex,” Joshua says, accepting Bebe as human instantly. Despite his getting free, many of the hostages die.

Stahma is in the Omec ship but only in “spirit” as she and Kindzi are linked mentally, via the blue “rock” that T’evgin’s daughter made her swallow. While on the ship, she learns the plans of the Omec and what will happen to the inhabitants of Earth. Before that, Amanda and Nolan question how Tak’s troops got through the net. “Tex,” aka Beckman and Nolan bond and the new guy agrees to join the militia. Joshua tells Alak to show Beckman around and Datak’s son asks Bebe if he knows him from somewhere.

Irisa “weapons” up and Nolan comes dangerously close to apologizing. Irisa points this out and Joshua reverts to type after saying that he is getting soft in his old age. He also tells her that he is proud of her. Amanda tells the citizens of Defiance that they are under attack with Rahm Tak’s infiltrators still in the town.

During her broadcast, T’evgin stops for pancakes. He listens to the message while observing the Votan shop. Tak’s men are entering homes and killing innocents, Nolan splits up his group, taking Bebe with him and sending Irisa and Alak in the other direction, when they hear the gunfire and both pairs head out to stop the infiltrators.

One of Tak’s men starts to shoot a human mother and two small children when T’evgin interrupts him. He turns the Votan around and tells him that he “lacks honor.” The Omec’s teeth suddenly become huge and he rips the throat open of the assailant. The mother then asks if they will be next and T’evgin says no. “But the stories,” she says. “Old stories,” T’evgin says. Nolan tries to talk the Omec into helping more but he refuses saying again that this is not his fight.

Kindzi plans on her father killing Stahma after she revealed the Omec plans but is bitterly disappointed. T’evgin explains that originally the plan was to enslave the denizens of Earth but that has changed. Kindzi responds by spitting in his face and calling him a traitor. Stahma warns that T’evgin’s daughter is dangerous and “something needs to be done.” The Omec leader makes it very clear that Stahma is out of line. He reminds her that they are “not a team.”

Bebe “finds” a map to the tunnels back to Rahm Tak’s camp. Nolan wants to go through the tunnel and strike Tak where it hurts. Amanda wants to plug the hole up and Joshua talks her out of it. Alak is waiting outside Defiance at the other end of the tunnel keeping an eye out for more Tak troops.

Nolan gives his team last minute instructions before going into the tunnel. Bebe is in the group. When they get to the end of the tunnel, Nolan and Irisa go out after he tells the rest of the team to wait for his signal. Joshua gives Alak a “thumbs up” signal and motions for him to join them. Bebe/Beckman tells the team that he hears something. He instructs the militia members to wait there and he leaves.

Outside, Nolan sees Beckman and tells him that he said to wait. Before the words are completely out of his mouth, Bebe disarms Irisa and Nolan, shoots Alak and grabs Joshua. Irisa fights back and gets stabbed in the shoulder with her own knife. Bebe throws a grenade into the tunnel killing the militia team. Nolan fights Bebe and is losing when Irisa takes the knife and stabs Bebe to death.

The “Goddess” is back.

Datak Tarr has more memories of growing up and being punished by his father’s blade, it was shoved through his hand. In the doctor’s office Nolan is full of guilt about the death of his team in the tunnel and Irisa tries to make him see it is not his fault. Amanda comes in and reveals that Rahm Tak has set up camp outside the city.

Dr. Yewll explains that Tak has done them a favor. Using a volunteer she can blow up the stasis nets and kill Rahm and all his troops. It is, she says, a suicide mission, the volunteer will carry the detonator in his or her arm. Nolan wants to go and Amanda says that she will do it. Alak says that he knows the perfect person to be sent to General Rahm Tak’s relocated camp.

Datak Tarr has another memory of his father and that blade. As their world is ending Datak’s father decides to stay behind. He gives the blade to his son along with a talk about honor and vanity. Amanda tells Datak that if he accepts her offer of redemption that Stahma will be pardoned of her crimes and Datak will be pardoned as well…posthumously. He accepts.

He has the detonator hidden in his left forearm and when he gets into Rahm Tak’s camp, Yewll will set it off, killing the general and all his troops. Tarr is allowed outside of Defiance and enters the camp, Rahm Tak allows him to enter because, “He’s got me curious.”

Back in Defiance, Yewll sets the timer for four minutes and the countdown begins. In Rahm Tak’s camp, Datak has to do a “song and dance” to keep the general from killing him. Getting on his knees, he ask for his blade to prove his humility. Tak’s curiosity is piqued again and he allows Datak to have the blade.

Datak tells Rahm Tak that he rescued him from the shaming wall and therefore Tak owns his body. “Including,” Datak says, “my good left arm.” Taking the blade he begins to saw his own arm off, which contains the detonator, while Tak and his troops scream and yell at this act of self mutilation. Amid the cacophony, they are yelling, laughing and excitedly shouting, Rahm Tak screams out, “That is some “gangster-a** sh**!” the general is massively impressed.

Tarr removes his arm and as Tak goes to pick it up, Datak says he needs a moment. Tak agrees that he can leave the tent. As Datak heads shakily to the exit, Tak grabs the arm and plays with it, giving “high-fives” to his troops. Datak is outside the tent running madly away from the area and Rahm realizes that there is something in the arm. “Oh sh**, he says as the stasis nets explode killing everyone.

As the blast engulfs Rahm Tak’s camp, Alak and Irisa touch hands and the camera moves over the shattered camp and lingers on Datak Tarr. Laying on his back, with the blade under his right hand, Tarr grins.

This episode was nothing less than brilliant. Granted, Nolan did accept Bebe/Beckman rather quickly, but it was essential to the plot and therefore forgivable. The continued bonding between Joshua and Irisa is nice to see and it looks like Alak and Nolan’s daughter may just become an item. Yewll got some excellent lines out, with her quips of “Cowboy guy” and “…Teacher’s Pet, see me after class.”

*Sidenote* The set piece with T’evgin and those teeth. A truly terrifying moment and one that proved that the Omec really does not need any other weapons.

The scene in Rahm Tak’s camp where Datak Tarr removes his own arm was an epic win. How could anyone not love Tak’s reaction. While Rahm’s demise was not down to his own fascination with all human pop culture, his “gangster-a**” comment was just brilliant. It was his curiosity that killed him in the end.

*Sidenote II* The playing of The DoorsWhen the Music’s Over as Datak slyly fools his captor and then runs off to live another day was spot on.

This will be a hard episode to beat, let alone match. Tony Curran rocked it, as did Trenna Keating as Doc Yewll. Special kudos to Lee Tergesen as General Rahm Tak, what a great ending for a great villain, a real OMG performance even at the end. Speaking of villains, the new direction that T’evgin appears to be heading may just make Kindzi the next “big bad.” Defiance is part of SyFy Fridays. Cracking science fiction television that is not to be missed.

Dominion: The Narrow Gate (review)

Dominion Alex and Noma at New Dephi
Coming back to the darkness that is Dominion and catching back up with Michael, Gabriel, David Whele, Alex (the Chosen One) and Lady Riesen in The Narrow Gate begins with Alex proving to Julian that he is “worthy.” The task is to find the round key around the neck of an eight ball in the New Delphi asylum. Zoe Holloway is on Lady Riesen’s most wanted list and Michael is still at Mallory and trying to understand Laurel’s motivation as well as learning that the “celebration” is really a sacrifice.

Alex goes after the key with a flashlight and a shotgun, the first things he comes across are eyeless corpses, and against the constant cacophony of eight ball possessed prisoners screaming out inanities “Monkey wants sex,” shouts one Schmiegal like voice, he eventually finds General Riesen (Alan Dale) who left Vega last season. He has been with Julian in New Delphi, as a prisoner, ever since.

Michael argues with Laurel about whether Father really talks to her. Michael angrily says that he should be able to hear him as well. Lady Riesen hunts up an old colleague of her father’s, Gates the man who, according to Riesen, helped to save and build the city. She asks for his help in hunting down Zoe. The engineer tries to beg off but the lady’s not for turning and she changes her request from a favor to an order.

*On a side note* Gates is played by Brit actor Nic Bishop. Bishop was a regular on the Aussie soap Home and Away and he feels a little like Sean Bean, rough around the edges and able to “mix it up” with the best of them. He also has that same natural approach to acting. A welcome addition to the cast and thus far, he has managed to bring a bit of chemistry to the screen in terms of Lady Riesen (Roxanne McKee).

With action switching between New Delphi; Alex and the hunt for the key and Vega; the hunt for Zoe, the small town of Mallory with its giant burning bush (so to speak) features less in the way of action and more in the arena of exposition with an emphasis on backstory. This walk down memory lane will eventually reveal a twist in the New Delphi events but that his not the most interesting part of this episode.

The flashbacks of Michael are short and reveal much of why he is so tortured and why he opted, in season one, to back up the humans in Vega. Set against the distraction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Michael, Lyrae and Gabriel have been chosen to punish the two cities and all those within it, barring, obviously, Lot and his family who don’t get a mention here, and the trio are arguing how to go about the whole thing.

Gabriel pleads for a divine punishment, using one of the Father’s jars/urns of “magical” curses with a blood drowning to finish off any survivors. Michael, however, listens to Lyrae who insists that the punishment be delivered by the blade of a sword. He jeers at Gabriel who has never killed anyone by the sword and the two higher angels go to dispense their bloody justice. Gabriel stays behind.

A survivor who escaped from the two angels stumbles into the tent where Gabriel prays. The realizes that the Gabriel is an angel and tries to kill him. The higher angel tells the man repeatedly to leave and inadvertently kills him, the first human he has ever slain with his own hands.

In the present, Michael and Laurel share a moment and Zoe’s rebels are found behind the Flamingo by Gates via the expedient method of monitoring wattage. Back at Mallory, the sacrifice ceremony begins and Michael remembers coming back to find Gabriel had slain his first human. He also remembers Lyrae getting carried away with the punishment, so much so that Michael strips the higher angel of his rank and plunges a knife into his neck, relegating Lyrae to the lower angels.

Back at Mallory Michael steps in to replace Laurel as the sacrifice. He reveals his bloody past, after taking on the town’s sins, and he insists that Laurel let him take her place as a form of redemption. She gives into his request after “Father” tells her it is acceptable.

Alex, after finding the general, who he enlists to help in his search for the key, finds the eight ball with the item around its neck. Before he can overpower the creature it swallows the round key. He kills it and Alex has to dig it out of the creature’s corpse. Several possessed prisoners attack and one has the general pinned to the ground. Alex then grabs the eight ball possessed human and releases the lower angel from the man. Riesen is stunned.

Gates and Lady Riesen attack the warehouse where Zoe’s rebels are ensconced and in the short battle, she escapes after a soldier shoots and misses her. Back at Mallory, Michael takes the town’s sins and he prepares to plunge the knife into his chest. The bush stops burning, allowing the eight balls surrounding the town to advance. He completes the sacrifice and the lower angels in the town catch fire and the bush rekindles and burns again which in turn burns the eight balls.

Another flashback to Michael and Gabriel reveals that he asked Gabriel to punish him as he did Lyrae. Lady Riesen questions the soldier who allowed Zoe to escape. The man, Sgt. Mills, claims it was due to darkness and when she continues to question him asks what she knows about guns. Borrowing a Beretta from another soldier she checks the clip and then cocks the weapon.

She asks Mills how many traitors are in her military and Mills tells her to “Go to Hell.” She shoots him in the leg and tells the others to take him away. A bemused Gates watches as she returns the pistol to its owner and leaves the room.

Alex gets out of the prison with General Riesen and Noma is pleased to see he made it out and surprised to see Riesen. Gates speaks with the general’s daughter and after a little bonding time, he reveals what Zoe and her rebels took from the warehouse when they escaped, a box used to carry food. They left behind everything else, including their weapons.

Back at Mallory, Michael, who was buried after sacrificing himself, climbs out of the grave. He stops to visit Wes and warns him that if he tells anyone or harms anyone else he will kill him. A terrified Wes agrees to the terms set by Michael.

In New Delphi, Alex brings Julian the key and he demands the alliance he came for. Julian wants Riesen to be put back in prison, “he’s a murderer,” shouts Julian, “he killed an angel in my city.” Alex tells him to pardon the general and he does. After getting his new allies rooms for the night, Julian takes the key and it is revealed to be the top to one of the “Father’s” urns.

Julian is Lyrae.

This final twist ends the show, with Julian spinning the short weapon that he had in Michael’s flashback to Sodom and Gomorrah. It is nice to see Alan Dale back as General Risen, but Anthony Head was missed this week. The appearance of what promises to be an interesting character, Gates, did make up for David Whele’s absence. Gates is to become a regular fixture, apparently, in Dominion and thus far he looks to be a good fit in the show.

Dominion airs Thursdays on SyFy and fans of intricate supernatural television should mark their calendar.